PASADENA, Calif.—As the omicron variant is driving a surge in COVID-19 cases in Pasadena and across the nation, the City of Pasadena continues to prioritize the health and safety of our community, including our neighbors experiencing homelessness. After careful consideration and consultation with Pasadena Public Health Department and local homeless services providers, the Department of Housing has requested an exception from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to postpone the annual homeless count to the night of Feb. 22, 2022. The City typically collects data from people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered and sheltered locations during the annual Point-in-Time Count within the last 10 days of January as mandated by HUD.
The Department of Housing came to this decision primarily due to concerns stemming from the current surge’s impact on volunteer availability, especially among professional street outreach workers from local homeless service agencies which are currently navigating staffing challenges due to the surge. The department is equally concerned with preserving the capacity of our hospitals and healthcare system amid the surge. While ensuring the safety of volunteers and participants had been at the crux of planning efforts well before the omicron surge, the department will implement heightened safety measures when the count takes place in February based on recommendations from Pasadena Public Health Department:
- All volunteers will be provided with an N95 mask.
- All hygiene kits distributed during the unsheltered count will contain N95 masks and surgical masks (previously only surgical masks).
- All volunteers will be required to take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of the count, which will be provided by the City.
- Any volunteer who has begun a period of quarantine or isolation within the 10 days prior to the count will not be permitted to participate.
Those interested in volunteering for the Pasadena Homeless Count, now taking place on the evening of Feb. 22 from 8 - 10 p.m. and the morning of Feb. 23 from 6 - 8 a.m., can register for the reserve volunteer list. Please visit pasadenapartnership.org/volunteer-homeless-count by Feb. 4 to sign up. Questions should be directed to Dan Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org.